👤 Adenike Lucas and Danjuma Aliyu, DENISAURUS News
A civil society in Abuja has commended the National Assembly led by Bukola Saraki for helping to resolve Nigeria’s suspension from the Egmont group.
In May 2017, DENISAURUS News exclusively reported the suspension of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit from the world financial group, which includes the United States and the United Kingdom.
At the time the news was published, Ibrahim Mustafa Magu who was accused of leaking sensitive information obtained from the Toronto-based server, denied the suspension, claiming that the Editor of DENISAURUS News was working for “paymasters.”
Mr Magu’s claim was rubbished when the Egmont Group at it 24th plenary went ahead to announce the suspension, adding that Nigeria could be totally expelled if the NFIU was not expunged from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
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Senator Saraki determined to fix the problem, was able to work with other lawmakers to ensure the smooth passage of the NFIU Bill which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2018 after much pressure.
In a Press Conference delivered in Abuja, by the convener of the The National Civil Society Association Against Corruption commended the work of the eight National Assembly in the fight against corruption.
Bolaji Obasa, convener of the group stated that “the quick intervention on the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Bill, has led to the recent withdrawal from the list of high-risk states with deficiencies in money laundering and terrorism financing controls by the Council of Europe.
“The 8th National Assemblies’ quick intervention on the issue in 2018, led to the swift passage of the Bill. Without that Bill which was passed within a month or so, Nigeria, which was already suspended from the EGMONT Group, would have been expelled from the group.
“However, what we are seeing today is a clear testament of the work of a responsive legislature. Because of the leadership that our Senators and Representatives showed last year by passing the NFIU Bill, which created an autonomous Financial Intelligence Unit in the country, Nigeria still has access to the resources of the EGMONT Group, which is a network of 152 Member Countries that share information relating to criminal intelligence and financial investigations.”